Hillsborough River State Park

Hillsborough River State Park was our destination today. It is quite near to us here in Zephyrhills. Its located between I-75 and Zephyrhills on US Route 301. We to0ok a lot of pictures, but not in the campground. We want to preserve people’s privacy.

Official Park Information
Opened in 1938, Hillsborough River State Park is one of Florida’s first state parks. This original CCC Park is divided by the swiftly flowing Hillsborough River with a set of Class II rapids. The river provides opportunities for fishing, canoeing, and kayaking. A canoe/kayak launch is available at parking lot #4. The concession provides canoe, bike and golf cart rentals, breakfast and lunch menus, camping and picnic supplies, and a variety of memorable souvenirs. For rates and hours of operation, please contact the Hillsborough Park Pool Side Cafe at (813) 986-3322, or via their web page. https://www.floridastateparks.org/park-activities/Hillsborough-River#Concession-and-Restaurant Hikers can walk over seven miles of nature trials. Note: The Wetlands Restoration Trail accommodates both bicyclists and hikers only. When the weather calls for it, visitors can enjoy a refreshing swim in the park’s ADA accessible swimming pool.

Park Amenities
Picnic areas, pavilions, several playgrounds, the Pool Side Café and Gift Shop, and an ADA-accessible, half-acre swimming pool, are located within the park. Many trails offer visitors the opportunity to experience the park’s natural beauty. A popular trail is the Rapids Nature Trail. It meanders through oak hammocks to the edge of the Hillsborough River at the point where an outcropping of limestone rocks has created rapids. This area is a popular spot for photographers and outdoor enthusiasts. The park offers canoe rentals for visitor’s convenience.
Swimming pool hours of operation are 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, weather permitting. Please contact the park for swimming pool informational updates at (813) 987-6771. The park offers full-facility camping and a youth/group tent campground. A primitive campsite is available via foot trail; reservations are always recommended.

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We stopped for icecream and sat outside by the pool. This little critter sat on the table behind us looking at our food. Sorry Charlie, no ice cream for you.

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Camping at Hillsborough River State Park
Hillsborough River State Park offers RV and tent camping with electric on most of the campsites in the 112 site campground. Each site is equipped with water, a fire ring and picnic table. Each loop has restrooms with hot showers and laundry facilities. The campground offers a dump station for your convenience. Shopping for basic food items and merchandise is available at the park’s concession by the pool. Pets are welcome, but must be confined, leashed (up to six feet in length), or otherwise under the physical control at all times.
Maximum RV length = 50 ft. Hammocks are allowed to be used in certain campsites. Sites 41, 61, 110, and 111, allow one (1) hammock each, while sites 68 and 70 allow two (2) hammocks each. Set-up requires the use of straps at least 2 inches wide on trees at least 12 inches in diameter.

Camping Reservations
Reservations may be made up to 11 months in advance through Reserve America. http://floridastateparks.reserveamerica.com/ or call: (800) 326-3521 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.), or TDD (888) 433-0287.

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LTRVD0355 Sugar Beet Harvest

The Annual Sugar Beet Harvest is the main subject of this week’s podcast. We have talked with many folks who have done this work and enjoyed it. We also did an interview with Cary and Sherry who are recruiters for the employment company that hires the temporary workers for the Sugar Beet Harvest. Unfortunately the audio file of that interview was lost, but we have discussed most of the material from that interview.

Reader e-mail
During our email section, we read a message from Phil Allen about a new product we will be testing that is a Kitchen Fire Suppression blanket. Check it out on Amazon here.
We also disclose that the Harvest Hosts program we discussed in an earlier podcast does have an expectation from the hosts that guests will purchase products from the host business.
We also had a question about oilfield gate guarding. Most answers are found on our webpage on this at http://www.livingthervdream.com/oilfield_gate_guarding.html

Sugar Beet Harvest
Our main feature this week is on the Annual Sugar Beet harvest. We describe the basics of the harvest and the types of jobs available. This is a great opportunity to make a lot of money in a short period of time. Kathy adds answers to many frequently asked questions about this very popular fall workamping job. If you are interested, go to their website at http://sugarbeetharvest.com/index.cfm

Transitioning Health Care from home to On the Road
We finish with information from a very informative article written by Margo Armstrong in the Escapees Magazine all about making the switch from sticks and bricks healthcare to a portable On-the-Road healthcare plan. She offers much excellent advice on starting to make the transition. One issue is having an advanced medical directive and making sure someone not traveling with you should have a copy. A good example of an advanced medical directive is available at this website, http://www.medicinenet.com/advance_medical_directives/article.htm

RV Battery Watering System

Be A Workamper
 

Last week I changed out our motorhome’s house battery bank. This week I went back and installed an RV Battery Watering System. The old watering system was 6 years past the 3 year warranty, so it was time for a replacement.

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I bought 2 Pro-Fill 2 battery systems from Amazon for around $62 each. My battery bank is pretty easy to access, but all the heavy gauge wiring on top of the batteries made4 it very hard to remove the fill caps. It was also hard to see down into the rear cells to check electrolyte level.

It was a pretty easy process going from battery to battery loosening the cables, or removing them as necessary to install the watering manifold. Once it was all finished and buttoned up, I used the pump I already had to fill all the cells. Then I used battery terminal spray to coat each terminal to prevent corrosion. The first picture is of the battery bank without the watering system.
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The next is setting up each battery manifold,
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Next the manifolds are placed and connected together
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This RV Battery Watering System has made my monthly battery maintenance quite easy and I know each cell gets the distilled water it needs because the caps shut off the flow when the cell is at the optimum level. It’s not in the pictures, but I put all the battery hold down clips back on and tightened them.

LTRVD0306 If Tomorrow Never Comes

Kathy is back! If tomorrow never comes is now a song near and dear to us. We recorded this from her room at the Thomas Hospital in Fairhope, AL. We discuss what happened and Kathy’s progress up to now. Then we get in to what happened to put her here. The initial pain and subsequent surgery was in large part due to her former gastric bypass surgery performed in 2008.The results of that were great, but we had no idea of the side effects that eventually put her in critical condition and resulted in surgery that will most likely permanently change both our lives.




Thank you all who responded to the “Hi 5 challenge”, Your cards and prayers got us both through this tough situation. Your cards and their messages are a continuing source of comfort to us both.




We finish up with an early radio recording from our days on live radio in Sarasota, FL in 2009. We hope you enjoy it.

LTRVD0305 Kathy is Very Sick

As many of you know, Kathy is in the hospital in critical condition, but is improving every day. We covet your prayers at this turning point in our lives.


I open the show with a recap of what happened and where we are now. Next is a rerun of one of our live radio shows from December, 2008. I hope you enjoy it.